In my recent post ‘Other people’s maps’, I featured an excerpt from a secondhand 1951 issue 1:25,000 scale map I’d acquired from a map dealer. The map – with Brownhills at its heart – carried some rather unusual hand written markings which fascinate me, and the small excerpt I featured certainly seemed to engage the readers. I promised to get the map scanned in full, as well as a second one obtained with it. Both sheets are identical, but the drafting on them is different. The markings still haunt, and I’ve included the whole sheet as best I can in each scan, as there are notes and scribbles in the margins which are clearly significant. Please put your thinking caps on, download a copy and peruse at your leisure. I’d love to know what was going on.
Both maps are very intriguing, but of course, the mapping is gorgeous and worth looking at in itself; however, the markings belie a history, and I’d love some clue as to what that was. The more you study them, the more you spot. The circles version is particularly interesting, as it’s markings seem obscure. I’m intrigued as to why anyone would measure the line of sight distance from Bailey house, the demolished Brownhills tower block, to the Post Office Tower in Pye Green, Cannock. Is there perhaps a radio amateur thing going on here? Maybe the circles indicate range of some sort? Notice also on that map the peculiar note of ‘Blake St.’ through Chasewater and the marking in red of the boundary of what would become the country park there. Oddly prophetic.
The coal version also has lists of notes in the margins, and curious numbers around Brownhills Common. There’s a key to the shaded relief noted by Andy Dennis, too. I can’t make out the note at the top about the Redmoor.
Please, if you have any ideas – or can expand on the wonderful detective work already undertaken by Andy Dennis and Mark T – please do. A previous owner of these maps was doing something interesting. I’m nosey enough to want to know just what…
The maps are in .PDF format, for which you’ll need Adobe Reader or similar – but most folks have that installed already. I recommend right-clicking the links below and selecting ‘Save as…’ to save the file to your computer. All of them will take a while to download on slow connections, so please be patient. The high quality one is 300 DPI resolution and should print fine up to A3/original size. The basic is 200 DPI and should print OK on A$, but is best for on-screen perusal.
(my thanks to the kind runner who did the scanning legwork for me, thus enabling this post. You know who you are, you’re a star.)